American Library Association • October 20, 2015
Booklist Online

For daily ALA and library news, check the American Libraries website or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Pinterest icon YouTube icon RSS icon

2016 Carnegie Medals shortlist

2016 Carnegie Medal shortlisted titles

ALA has announced the six books shortlisted for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, awarded for the previous year’s best books written for adult readers and published in the US. The two medal winners will be announced by selection committee chair Nancy Pearl at the RUSA Book and Media Awards event at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Boston on January 10....

AL: The Scoop, Oct. 19

ALA, COSLA help libraries increase broadband capacity

MLK Digital Library Commons in Washington, D.C. Photo by Phil FreelonThe launch of a new phase of the federally funded E-rate reform program aimed at improving broadband capacity was announced October 19 by ALA and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies. The Library E-rate Assessment Planning (LEAP) project is a two-year initiative that will target five pilot states to develop strategies to increase broadband capacity to local libraries in each state. LEAP states are Alaska, California, Iowa, Kentucky, and North Dakota....

Office for Information Technology Policy, Oct. 19
Recorded Books

Laughlin withdraws candidacy for ALA President

Sara Gaar Laughlin

Sara Gaar Laughlin (right), retired director of the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana, has withdrawn her candidacy for the 2017–2018 presidency of ALA, citing a family health matter requiring her full attention. Remaining presidential candidates are Christine Lind Hage, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, and James (Jim) Neal. Ballot mailing for the 2016 ALA election will begin on March 15, 2016....

Office of ALA Governance, Oct. 16

Knife-wielding attacker thwarted at library chess club

James Vernon. Photo by Robert Downen, Pekin Daily Times

A 75-year-old chess instructor who fought off a knife-wielding man threatening to kill children at the Morton (Ill.) Public Library on October 13 said the attack will not stop his class from holding its next meeting. Army veteran James Vernon (right) has one arm in a sling and says his life has been inconvenienced since he disarmed 19-year-old Dustin Brown, who entered the library with two hunting knives. The children were able to escape the room after Vernon put himself between Brown and the door....

Chicago Tribune, Oct. 17; Pekin (Ill.) Daily Times, Oct. 15

MSU now holds largest media collection in US

Clifford Haka, director of MSU Libraries. Photo by G. L. Kohuth

Bad-hair 1990s movies. Obscure CDs only music lovers can name. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. They’ve arrived at Michigan State University as part of a rare collection of more than 850,000 movies, CDs, and video games, a donation from California-based Rovi Corp. The Rovi Media Collection, which is housed in the main MSU library, is the largest media collection held by a library in the United States, and is essential for faculty and student research....

Michigan State University, Oct. 19

Rare baseball card returns to NYPL

Cincinnati Red Stockings baseball card

An extremely rare baseball card that went missing from the New York Public Library at least 30 years ago is back in its home. A member of the NYPL security team traveled to Texas in September to retrieve the 1869 card, which features the Cincinnati Red Stockings, from sports memorabilia dealer Leon Luckey, who agreed to surrender the collectible he purchased in a 2000 auction for $10,000. The card will be available for viewing for researchers and fans on an appointment-only basis....

New York Daily News, Oct. 19
2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting

ARL Issue Brief on the Google Books decision

Google Books ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously ruled on October 16 in Authors Guild v. Google that Google’s mass scanning and digital indexing of books for use in creating a searchable online library constituted a legal “fair use” of copyrighted material rather than an infringement. For an in-depth analysis of the decision, see the ARL Policy Notes blog post “Second Circuit Affirms Fair Use in Google Books Case,” which has now been published as an ARL Issue Brief (PDF file)....

Association of Research Libraries, Oct. 20; ARL Policy Notes, Oct. 16

The ebook pricing wars

Ebook pricing models

Michael Rockliff writes: “Perhaps it’s easy for me to say, being out of the ebook pricing wars now (safely retired), but much of the publisher angst over ebook pricing terms to libraries strikes me as responding to problems that haven’t yet materialized, and in fact may not. Further, it has led to policies that alienate a market segment that is more important than ever to the success of our books. There is much to be learned, and less to lose, in trying out as many business models as possible.”...

AL: E-Content, Oct. 20

Surveys on books, ebooks, and libraries

Number of print book readers drops

The number of book readers has dipped a bit from the previous year and the number of ebook readers has remained flat, according to new survey findings from Pew Research Center. There are some signs that readers’ faith in ebooks is a bit shaken, according to a survey by Good eReader Research. Yet according to a recent Harris Poll, more than half (55%) of Americans are extremely or very satisfied with their local library. Satisfaction is especially high among those with a library card (70%)....

Pew Research Center, Oct. 19; Good eReader, Oct. 18; Harris Poll, Oct. 15

11 reasons to take a cellphone break

Cellphone use is bad for your neck

K. Thor Jensen writes: “If you told somebody 50 years ago that the most world-changing invention of the near future was telephones you could carry around in your pocket, they’d probably look at you like you were insane. Scientists are starting to learn that spending so much time staring at our phones is actually doing some damage to our physical, social, and intellectual lives. In this feature, we’ll run down 11 main reasons you might want to give your phone a break for a bit.”...

PC Magazine, Oct. 17

TSA master keys, threat models, and encryption

TSA lock opened with 3D printed key

Jason Griffey writes: “In November 2014, the Washington Post published a story with a photo (now deleted) of master keys used by the Transportation Security Administration. A few intrepid hackers located some higher-resolution photos, from which they reverse-engineered CAD files of the keys. The results are STL files for the seven master keys that the TSA has for luggage locks in the US. On October 17, I decided to see how easy it would be to use a 3D-printed master key on a TSA-approved lock.”...

Pattern Recognition, Oct. 20; Washington Post, Nov. 24, 2014; YouTube, Oct. 17

Digital tools for diversity

Storybird website

Alice Pettway writes: “Teacher and author Zetta Elliott has used print-on-demand publishing tools to make many of her books available and popular without help from a traditional publisher. Teachers use cloud-based tools like Storybird or apps like Bitstrips to publish students’ work. Most educators have access to diverse written resources that reside on the web, often available for free. These digital tools allow educators to use classroom publishing to validate the experiences of all students.”...

Teaching Tolerance, no. 51 (Fall 2015)

Digital humanities tool will help sift big data

BigDIVA screen

Digital humanities scholars from North Carolina State University and Texas A&M University are launching a powerful new system to help researchers more quickly and accurately sift through hundreds of thousands of archives and articles related to materials dating from 450 AD to the 20th century. The new tool, called BigDIVA, was formally unveiled in October. BigDIVA offers a visual interface for navigating scholarly, peer-reviewed humanities content. BigDIVA may help with some of the big data problems that Nate Silver spoke about in his keynote address to the Rich Data Summit in San Francisco on October 14....

North Carolina State University, Nov. 12; DataInformed, Oct. 19

An animated introduction to Jane Austen

Screenshot from Jane Austen video

Dan Colman writes: “From philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s School of Life comes the latest in a series of animated introductions to influential literary figures. Previous installments gave us a look at the life and work of Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf. This one takes us inside the literary world of Jane Austen. And, as always, de Botton puts an accent on how reading literature can change your life.”...

Open Culture, Oct. 14

Use poetry to generate passwords

Sample passwords created by the poetry password generator

Nikhil Sonnad writes: “If you’re like most people, your passwords are terrible. You might have just one insecure password that you use for everything. A pair of computational linguists at the University of Southern California have a possible answer to your easy-to-hack habits. They set out (PDF file) to automatically generate unique passwords that are both easy for humans to remember and very difficult for computers to crack. They found inspiration from, of all things, poetry.”...

Quartz, Oct. 20

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Tuesday and Friday to personal members of the American Library Association.

Send news and feedback:

Direct ad inquiries to:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.


AL Direct will not sell your email to outside parties, but your email may be shared with advertisers in this newsletter should you express interest in their products by clicking on their ads or content. If the advertisers choose to communicate with you by email, they are obligated to provide you with an opportunity to opt-out from future emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. Read the ALA privacy policy.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X
ALA Publishing